Building Watershed Heroes in Baltimore
[Note: This week we are joining author Jennifer Chambers, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and the Alice Ferguson Foundation in a blog tour to celebrate children as watershed heroes, which is the subject of her new book aimed at young people.]
At Blue Water Baltimore, we know that the health of our communities is inextricably linked to the health of our urban streams, rivers, and Harbor. That is why we work so enthusiastically with young people throughout Baltimore on projects to give our city a brighter – and greener – future.
This school year, we worked with Green Team students at five Baltimore City schools on the Clean Water Schools and Communities Project.
As a part of the project, Green Team students participated in anti-littering workshops, designed and painted storm drain murals, and performed original songs, skits and school assemblies to spread the message that keeping trash out of our streams is important! These children also received a grant for a clean water project of their choice. One school used the money to create a great anti-littering PSA video.
Throughout this project, the Green Team students were creative, hard working and truly passionate about cleaning their environment. These students demonstrated that they are environmental leaders not only for their peers but also for community members of all ages. They are truly among Baltimore’s watershed heroes.
For proof, watch Green Team students from two of our Clean Water Schools (Highlandtown #237 and John Eager Howard) describe their work in their own words and see why we are hopeful about the state of Baltimore’s watersheds.
Blue Water Baltimore was proud to work with the Baltimore Office of Sustainability on this project with funding from the Opportunity Collaborative.
How to inspire your own watershed hero:
- Volunteer with Blue Water Baltimore: Blue Water Baltimore has many great volunteer opportunities for children and young people. Our storm drain art program is a fun and colorful way to educate youth on the connection between our streets and our streams. We also have greening and restoration opportunities for all ages such as tree plantings, stream cleanups, and volunteer days at our nursery!
- Talk about the story of stormwater pollution: Parent and environmental educator Jennifer Chambers has written a children’s story called “Watershed Adventures of a Water Bottle”. It tells the story of a plastic bottle named Scout and his journey from the street to the sea and the watershed hero, a little girl who eventually puts Scout in the proper place. Today is the second day of the book’s Blog tour, so make sure to check out Jennifer’s blog, Hiking Along.
- Get outside and get on the water: The more connected children are to nature, the more invested they are in protecting it. The same is true with our waterways. So, whether taking a walk along your local stream or spending time in a nearby park, the more time kids spend outside, the better. In the words of Jennifer Chambers, “Nature is beneficial to our children but children are beneficial to nature.”